Sarah Scott shared her life's truth on the Internet recently and has gotten the bitch slap of her life as a result. I say
"bitch slap" intentionally, despite, as a rule, never using that word
to describe women myself. I say "bitch slap" because the vast
majority of people commenting on her life's truth now think of Sarah Scott as a
bitch—an entitled, narcissistic, privileged, complaining, white bitch, to be
The truth that Sarah Scott shared in the blog post that incurred such Internet wrath was that she and her husband have
"sacrificed" (her word) the addition of a third child to their family
in favor of maintaining a lifestyle that was borne of their careful planning. That
includes her "luxury dream" home, which Scott describes in detail, an annual vacation, the ability for her to not work outside the home
so she may be with her children full time, and things and opportunities for her two
sons that would not be possible should the family welcome a third child to the
Scott herself acknowledges that her admission feels
like a secret, one that she is certain most people are not capable of
understanding, because she believes people her age "don't plan as
meticulously" as she and her husband have. And yet, share she did on the
Internet for all the world to see, consider and, yes, trash in the comments and
across social media platforms.
More interesting to me is how personally readers and commenters have taken to Sarah Scott's post.
The Internet overshare is a fine line. There is
something to be said for blasting your truth, claiming it loudly and proudly,
whatever that might be. The flip side of that is leaving yourself out there to
be judged. That is what social media is for, yes? Judging others is sport in
that domain. And when the judging happens and is harsh, do you have anyone to
blame but yourself for having put it out there in the first place? Probably
I, too, of course judged. How can you not? It is human
nature. But what I think of Sarah Scott and her choices (not sacrifices as she
calls them—oops, I just spilled a wee bit of judgment) is of no consequence
to anyone but myself. Having been at the receiving end of Internet hate and
vicious comments myself, I know the toll anonymous hate can take. I won't add
to it in any significant way.
More interesting to me is how personally readers and
commenters have taken to Sarah Scott's post. There is a polar divide with the
vast majority experiencing her words as a whiny cry for self-pity, while a much
smaller minority have defended her and see Ms. Scott as a responsible adult and
a sympathetic figure. Nowhere have I seen any discussion on what her
revelations say about the larger concept of the economic realities of so many.
The chasm between the haves and the have nots has widened.
Perhaps that is where she lost so many of her readers—a tone-deaf approach to modern economics.
The disparity of how out of reach the American dream
is for many of us touched a nerve in readers that damned Ms. Scott to her
Internet flap. While she spoke her truth, absent from her reflections was any
sense of how privileged that truth is to most folks. On the contrary, she
seemed very self-satisfied with her ability, with her husband, to exercise
discipline and ambition that she feels most of her peers lack.
Perhaps that is where she lost so many of her readers—a tone-deaf approach to modern economics. Her struggle is a legitimate one,
for her and her husband. But does all of America need to be privy to it?
Perhaps Marie Antoinette could empathize with Ms. Scott's overshare, but as the
commenters revealed, most folks could not.